Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has today proudly presented her new Youth Ambassadors who will provide a powerful voice on policing and community safety issues on behalf of young people across the region.
Jane Kennedy launched a search for a group of enthusiastic, skilled young people to join her team as Youth Ambassadors in July. After reviewing nearly 40 applications and following two selection days, the Commissioner has today unveiled the 10 successful applications who will become her Youth Ambassadors for the next 12 months.
The successful applicants are aged between 16 and 22, represent each local authority of Merseyside and are currently studying or employed in a range of roles, including working as a Vulnerable Person’s Advocate for Merseyside Fire Service and a Young Advisor for St Helens Council.
They also have a wide range of volunteering experience, including supporting children and young people at local youth centres, working with the Young Person’s Advisory Service (YPAS) and the National Citizenship Scheme, as well as giving their time to local hospices and community farms.
The new Youth Ambassadors will volunteer their time to support, challenge and inform the work of the Police Commissioner, her office and the wider criminal justice system. The group will meet bi-monthly with Jane and her team and will assist in the creation and delivery of a new Youth Engagement Plan, which they will help to share with other young people by visiting schools, youth clubs and community groups across Merseyside.
They will also be expected to attend youth engagement events, inform campaigns aimed at young people, act as influencers on key issues and review the criminal justice services offered to their peers to see how they can be improved.
Jane Kennedy said: “I’m delighted to unveil my new Youth Ambassadors, who will act as my advisors on youth issues in Merseyside.
“I was bowled over by the quality of the applications we received and the 10 successful applications have all proved themselves be passionate, motivated and determined young individuals who will provide a powerful voice for young people on Merseyside. We are privileged to have such an inspiring group of young people working with our office, influencing decision-making on policing and community safety issues at a senior level and ensuring we consider the views of young people as we work to address the key issues which affect them.
“The previous Youth Advisory Group did a great job, sharing their views and feedback with me openly and honestly and providing an effective forum for sharing opinions, but I took the decision to recruit a smaller group of Ambassadors so that the young people involved could take on a more hands on, active role.
“I have no doubt these young people will be real ambassadors for their peers and be a voice for change.”
In exchange for their time on the scheme, the Youth Ambassadors will receive a range of training and development opportunities.
Katherine Moore, 16, of Liverpool, is the joint youngest candidate. She said: “I had been looking for opportunities to volunteer and get work experience in the police force as my dream job is in the role of working for the emergency services. So this opportunity couldn’t have sounded better for me to engage in a trial for the future. My biggest passion in life is to help other members of society and giving advice and when I have done so it gives me purpose and great pleasure in knowing I’ve helped someone.”
Knowsley’s Adele Tate, 20, said “One of my passions is making a change for young people. Being a young advisor for many years has enabled me to give my opinions on issues affecting young people. I cannot wait to be one of the PCC’s Youth Ambassadors and to support the Community Engagement Team by providing a unique point of view, by the direct experience of being a young person.”
Poppy Cain, 20, of the Wirral, said: Poppy Cain: “I would like to become a Youth Ambassador as I like to make a difference and make sure whatever is happening has the best outcome it can. I think living in Wirral on one of the deprived areas I have seen a lot of anti-social behaviour and crime, I feel that there is always a reason behind what happens.”
The new Youth Ambassadors have replaced the Commissioner’s Youth Advisory Group which ran since 2013. The role will last for 12 months and was open to those aged between 16 and 24, who live, work or study in Merseyside.